Date: April 12th, 2017
Venue: The Voodoo Lounge, Dublin
Line-up: Vader + Immolation + Monument of Misanthropy
The mighty death metal pairing of Polish legends Vader and US juggernauts Immolation took over the Voodoo Lounge for a night of crushing heaviness.
Opening up the shows for this tour are brutal death metal act Monument of Misanthropy from Austria. The band were standard fare for these sorts of shows, a decent performance that didn’t stand out too much, a cover of Death’s ‘Pull the Plug’ was a nice addition however, tickling the crowds nostalgia.
It’s been five years since Immolation’s last Irish visit, returning tonight to support their mammoth new album Atonement. While it’s easy for the old guard to simply rest on their laurels and just through the motions, Immolation do anything but. Long-time members’ bassist/vocalist Ross Dolan and guitarist Robert Vigna still hold onto that same fire that has keep them at the top of their game for almost 30 years. Dolan’s vocals were quite high in the mix; the devastating low growls took over the room. Unlike many of their peers, Immolation don’t always rely on speed in their music, Vigna’s riff have an almost doom-like quality to them and his performance showed that he has homed that craft with his demented and chaotic riffing. There was a healthy dose of newer material but they made sure to throw in a few of the classics such as their self-titled track and ‘Higher Coward’.
The Polish fans came out in force tonight for one of their countries biggest metal exports Vader. The band was here just last year supporting Overkill but the hunger was still there for a headline show. The band just released their 11th album this past winter, The Empire, so that was heavily represented but vocalist/guitarist/band leader Peter mentioned that their debut album The Ultimate Incantation was released 25 years ago so that also filled in the set.
Vader’s brand of death metal is on the faster, almost upbeat side of the genre, in contrast to Immolation’s doomy crawl, so the crowd were much more riled up and energetic in comparison. The Polish fans led the charge and there was a fairly large mosh pit in front of the stage for their entire set, also normally a rare sight in the Voodoo Lounge, there were quite a number of crowd surfers being thrown around.
Peter is very much the heart and soul of the band, having been there since the beginning over 30 years ago, but even still his performance is filled with a fire and passion far outdoing bands even half their age. With the crowd being made up of so much of his own as well he had to slip in a bit of Polish into his banter. While the other guys could be seen as a band of hired guns they were far from it, with guitarist Marek ‘Spider’ Pajak in particular blasting his way through the material with just as much energy as Peter.
There were a lot of people in the crowd who were screaming up to the stage all night but one thing that stuck out were the constant calls of “Slayer”, something which I was somewhat confused about but when we reached the end of the set it all started to make sense. Vader closed the night with a cover of Slayer’s ‘Raining Blood’ and the crowd erupted more than ever before.